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N° 4–2016: Call for Press: Sentinel-3 for the future

2 February 2016

Media representatives are invited to the Salons Hoche event venue in Paris for the signing of a contract between ESA and Thales Alenia Space to build two more satellites for the Sentinel-3 mission.

The signing, to be held on 9 February at 17:00 CET, will ensure the continuation of the Sentinel-3 satellite series for Europe’s Copernicus environmental programme.

Sentinel-3 is based on a constellation of two satellites: Sentinel-3A and -3B. With the first set for launch in February and its sister planned for launch in 2017, the mission will provide a ‘bigger picture’ for Copernicus with optimum global coverage and data delivery.

While Thales Alenia Space of France has been leading a consortium of more than 100 companies to build the first two units, the €450 million contract to be signed in Paris will begin the development of Sentinel-3C and -3D.

Sentinel-3 carries a series of cutting-edge instruments for systematic measurements of Earth’s oceans, land, ice and atmosphere.

Over oceans, Sentinel-3 measures the temperature, colour and height of the sea surface as well as the thickness of sea ice. These measurements will be used, for example, to monitor changes in sea level, marine pollution and biological productivity.

Over land, this innovative mission will monitor wildfires, map the way land is used, provide indices of vegetation state and measure the height of rivers and lakes, complementing the high-resolution measurements of its Sentinel-2 sister mission.

The Paris event will provide media representatives with the opportunity to speak with key players in ESA and the Sentinel-3 mission, including ESA Director General Jan Woerner, Director of ESA’s Earth Observation Programmes Volker Liebig and Copernicus Space Segment Programme Manager Guido Levrini.

Representatives from the European Commission, Thales Alenia Space and France’s CNES space agency will also be present.

The Salons Hoche is located at 9 Avenue Hoche in Paris; the event will be taking place in Room Longchamp.

For more on Sentinel-3, visit


16:40    Press Registrations

17:00    Welcome

 Johann-Dietrich Wörner, Director General, ESA

 Volker Liebig, Director of Earth Observation Programmes, ESA

 Joel Barre, Director General, CNES

 Peter Breger, Deputy Head of Copernicus Unit, EC DG GROW

17:30    Contract signature

17:35        Thales Alenia Space

Jean-Loïc Galle, CEO, Thales Alenia Space

17:45    Copernicus Programme

Guido Levrini, Copernicus Space Segment Programme Manager, ESA

TAS Programme Director (tbc)

17:55    Q&A

About the European Space Agency 

The European Space Agency (ESA) provides Europe’s gateway to space.

ESA is an intergovernmental organisation, created in 1975, with the mission to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space delivers benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world.

ESA has 22 Member States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, of whom 20 are Member States of the EU.

ESA has established formal cooperation with seven other Member States of the EU. Canada takes part in some ESA programmes under a Cooperation Agreement.

By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, ESA can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country. It is working in particular with the EU on implementing the Galileo and Copernicus programmes.

ESA develops the launchers, spacecraft and ground facilities needed to keep Europe at the forefront of global space activities.

Today, it develops and launches satellites for Earth observation, navigation, telecommunications and astronomy, sends probes to the far reaches of the Solar System and cooperates in the human exploration of space.

Learn more about ESA at

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ESA Media Relations Office
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